How do nail guns work?

How do nail guns work?

Today nail guns are one of the most popular tools among professionals, but not only them. More and more people use them, but before you try it, read some instructions and this article, where we will explain to you how do nail guns work. Hammer will be more than enough if you only need to drive a nail to hang a picture, as well as any other small wood project. But, if we talk about more serious projects, you should look around for some type of nail gun. 

A nail gun has two jobs. The first of them is to concentrate force to be able to nail into the surface you work on. The other one is to reload a nail for following the ejection. Today we have many types of nail guns and every single of them will do the job in various ways. Below we will briefly explain each of them. Nailers can be electric and pneumatic. Pneumatic nailers are run by air pressure, fuel, or even a battery pack. On the other hand, electric ones can be run with an electrical cord or as cordless with a rechargeable battery. These mentioned nailers have various ways of firing but without extensive technical terms, we will try to present each of them.



Spring-loaded are actually electric types and have two drive axles powered by the motor. One of them has the job to move a metal disc known as a scooper plate and the other one is here to move a gear train that turns a triangular cam. So, when you pull the trigger, cam turn and put some pressure on a lever. Lever did the same against the hammer and clench two springs. The hammer is at the first held by a scooper plate but later was released. He was pushed down with great speed because of the springs that 'shot' a nail.



This type of nailer needs electrical power to generate an electromagnetic field. The main wire in this gun is called a solenoid and it contains a sliding plunger with magnetic material. This plunger is actually like a hammer and electric power forced him down against a long blade. This downward motion allows the gun to fire the nail.



Pneumatic nailers are probably the most powerful tool among all nailers. They need air compressors as their 'motor' and power to drive a nail. The principle of their work is very similar to electromagnetic nailers. They also have a sliding plunger that drives a blade to fire the nail. The trigger, in this case, is here to control the air pressure and by that to help move the sliding plunger.

Nail Gun in Action


Combustion nailers are cordless and can be powered by fuel and battery to make internal combustion that will run your nail. A big role has a valve and it releases a small amount of the gas that mixes with the air. The battery then sends a spark to the spark plug that lights the fuel. This propels a plunger and drives a nail.


Gun firing methods

Some of the guns are able to fire in many different ways depending on the work you are dealing with. So, we can define firing methods as contact or sequential. Contact guns allow you to simply drive the nail against the surface you are working on. On the other hand, sequential firing demands pulling the trigger and safety tip against the working surface. However, today, there are many variances in these mentioned methods.


Final thoughts

To sum up, these were the basic types and modes of working with nail guns. Although today most people choose nail guns based on their needs and preferences it's always good to know what is available and how to work with it.